Maturity

Ok, you experienced show people…I have a couple questions.

I looked at the pics in "my how they grow" and the "Bella has been pointed" thread and everyone's pups at 5 months/6 months old look significantly more on the way to looking like an adult than my 5 month old Liyah. Liyah still looks so much like a puppy to me. She's definitely getting bigger, but she just doesn't look as mature as the others on here. Is there a spurt of maturity between 5 and 6 months?

So at 6 months of age when a pup can first be shown, does it count against a pup to still "look like a pup" when being shown?

In person, Bella really does look like a pup especially in the Winners ring with mature adults. She really photographed well but there were also several basenji people there making sure that picture turned out well. To me you can still see the puppy look in her face and in person you can see she still has growing to do especially filling out.

if you enter in the puppy class.. judges know that it is a puppy.. and they will look at that pup in that respect…. if you would put a puppy in open at 6 months... the judge really has no idea how old they are... and would think something completely different...

That said.. a judge can ask the ring steward the age of the dogs in a class or the handlers...

@renaultf1:

Is there a spurt of maturity between 5 and 6 months?

So at 6 months of age when a pup can first be shown, does it count against a pup to still "look like a pup" when being shown?

I think I alluded to the same question on the other thread, because I thought Zoni looks really puppy-ish compared to the pictures too. I went to a WI basenji club coursing event this past weekend and Zoni was very comparable in size and appearance to the rest of the puppies…one of which was only a few hours older and the rest were only a few weeks apart in age. I have a short video of them playing that is really cute, I'll have to post it sometime this week.

And, unless I'm mistaken, I don't think we've seen any pictures of Liyah on here recently...hint, hint. 😃

Whether or not it counts against them depends on the judge. Like Pat said, you'd definitely want to put her in the puppy classes so the judge knows why she looks immature. I think a majority of the judges would prefer a mature dog if the quality is similar. But if the puppy is obviously nicer most will have no problem putting up the puppy. And there are certainly some judges who prefer to give the win to a puppy, if it looks to have the right potential.

Also this is where behavior can help. If you can go to class enough to help get her puppy goofies out of her by the time she's showing, that will go a long way. A puppy will greatly increase it's chances if it allows the judge to see them at their best, not their worst. lol If Zoni can learn the ropes and really show herself off, the judges might overlook her immaturity. Just be careful not to overdo it with classes to where she becomes bored or frustrated with showing.

Also dogs mature at very different rates. You may have one of the slow ones. 🙂 My boy was a very slow maturing dog. These pictures might make you feel better. lol

about 5 months

6 months

finished product

It's scary to go back and look at the early photos, eww. lol But don't worry, we were still able to do fine despite his obvious puppiness and my inexperience.

Good luck and have fun!

Thanks Lisa, Pat, Clay & Kelli…she'll definitely be entered in the puppy class at shows, so that was great info.

I'm sure that part of it is that pups always look a little different in person than in a picture. That said, I will say that the pics Kelli posted of her boy are probably the closest I've seen that make me think of Liyah in regards to maturity at 5 months. Add to that, looking at Liyah by herself, around 2 adults and no other pups in person to compare her to...she looks like such a little peanut. I am hoping to have her around some other b pups her age this coming weekend so I'll have a better idea of how she compares growth wise. She exudes confidence & attitude, so hopefully I can harness some of that and that will help balance my inexperience and her physical immaturity:D:D:D.

And yes, I know that pics of Liyah have been MIA...hopefully this weekend I'll get some up and take a 5 month. Busy, busy. :D;):rolleyes:

Oh, and don't get me wrong, I love the way she looks...I'm just wondering about the maturing part. I think she is the best looking brindle puppy on earth! :D:D (But then what b owner wouldn't say that about their own fur kids! :D)

@tanza:

if you enter in the puppy class.. judges know that it is a puppy.. and they will look at that pup in that respect…. if you would put a puppy in open at 6 months... the judge really has no idea how old they are... and would think something completely different...

That said.. a judge can ask the ring steward the age of the dogs in a class or the handlers...

WHAT? The judge can ask the age of the handlers???? j/k 😉 I can just see it though, in kind of a smarmy, lecherous kind of way 'how old is she?' ICK!

I agree totally with everything that has already been said. I definitely would enter a puppy in the puppy classes. Some people will tell you that will hurt your chances of points…but IMO it is better to win your class, and get some confidence, than to be placed at the end of a grown up class and start to get frustrated; expecially when you are starting out. And, yes a lot of judges will cut a puppy some slack, and give an obviously new handler some pointers.

And remember, in the beginning your goal will be getting comfortable with being in the ring, and getting her comfortable in the ring...not necessarily winning points. Not many novices,even those with a great puppy finish her in the first few months 🙂 Use those puppy classes to your advantage 🙂

Being in the puppy class hasn't hurt Bella. My mom didn't expect her to do very well her first few shows so has had her entered in puppy so the judge would know that it was puppy antics. So don't count yourself out just because you are in the puppy classes either.

@Quercus:

WHAT? The judge can ask the age of the handlers???? j/k 😉 I can just see it though, in kind of a smarmy, lecherous kind of way 'how old is she?' ICK!

LOL Andrea!

@Quercus:

WHAT? The judge can ask the age of the handlers???? j/k 😉 I can just see it though, in kind of a smarmy, lecherous kind of way 'how old is she?' ICK!

Ha, ha, ha…I was thinking the exact same thing when I originally read Pat's comment...:D:D:D

@lvoss:

Being in the puppy class hasn't hurt Bella. My mom didn't expect her to do very well her first few shows so has had her entered in puppy so the judge would know that it was puppy antics. So don't count yourself out just because you are in the puppy classes either.

Right, exactly….I think that if your puppy is the best one there, it doesn't matter to most judges what class she is in.

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